[With] Humility Self-Cultivating, [Do] Not Become Arrogant Persons
[At] your age [of] twenty-one, able [to compose] poetry [and] able [to write] prose, [you are] thus [of] those [in] past [lives] having good roots. However, [there] must [be with] humility self-cultivating, not with intelligence [as an] arrogant person.
[Note 1: Our skills easily picked up in this life could be due to already being familiar with them in our past lives. However, if they are truly adequate in terms of leading to liberation, we would not still be trapped in the cycle of birth and death. Thus, we should be humble, to continue mastering the skills needed.]
[Note 2: Once there is arrogance, since assuming learning is already adequate, further learning for practice will end, thus ending the path to liberation. Also to note, is that those completely liberated (i.e. Buddhas), since having realised non-self (无我), will not have any arrogance (which arises from self-attachment) (我执) at all. Worldly intelligence and knowledgeability should not be mistaken as spiritual wisdom for liberation too.]
[With] more and more learning [that is] extensive, [the] more and more [will there be] feeling [that this is] not enough. Then [will] later accomplishments, [be] difficult [to] measure.
[Note 3: The more learning there is, that is not only broad, but also deep, especially in the key teachings needed for liberation (i.e. the Dharma Door Of Mindfulness Of Buddha: 念佛法门), the more will we realise that they are very profound, with even more to learn. This is so as we are not Buddhas yet, who are the only ones who understand mindfulness of Buddha completely.]
[Note 4: More importantly, there will be realisation that merely having much learning is inadequate, as there must be aligned practice for actualising it too, for liberation of oneself and others to be possible. Thus learning for practising, there will be immeasurable accomplishments in this life, in Pure Land and beyond.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Dharma Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings (Second Compilation): Reply Letter [To] Yóu Yǒuwéi;
Record [Of] Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence (118th Short Section): 3rd [Chapter]: Guidance [On] Practice Methods: Third, Clear Remedies [For] Habitual Tendencies (25th Short Section)
[Ref: #118 / 3.3.25]
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Record Of Great Master Yìnguāng’s Collected Writings’ Essence